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A Season of Surrender

I recently returned from my third trip to Guatemala with Orphan Outreach. I always have such a hard time processing all that God has shown me and awakened in me during my time in Guatemala. I don't want to miss a single thing the Lord wants to show me, tell me and do in me. And He always speaks, always. His words are my life and have and continue to change my life.


At the end of my first trip to Guatemala, as the in-country missions director thanked our group, the Lord surprised me with a new mission and purpose as I prepared to travel home. Gloria explained how the children’s needs would not be met were it not for short-term mission teams from the US. She expressed her disappointment as she shared that she just didn’t understand why the local churches did not see the needs in their own communities. My heart was both pierced and challenged and I knew the Lord was calling me to serve the least of these in my own community.

My family and I joined a local mission in growing their ministry to the multicultural community in a small downtown area. We began by leading a backyard Bible club at one of the low income housing apartment complexes and what started out as one week of service turned into an every week joy of feeding the children's hungry tummies and souls. As winter approached that year, we began to pray about an indoor facility to meet with the children. And the day before I left for my second trip to Guatemala, our small group of visionaries met in the new facility God provided to plan for the upcoming weeks. As I walked through the door, a new desire entered my heart...I want to be here. I want to serve here. Not just when our busy schedule allows, but often. I was praying my position at work would go back to part-time. And even said to myself, God you wouldn't want me to leave my job. (Not a question, a statement).


The next day I set out for another amazing trip to Guatemala. About midway through the week of my second trip to Guatemala, the devotion in our Orphan Outreach book was about the ladies walking to Jesus' tomb and wondering who would roll away the tomb for them. At that moment the Lord spoke so clearly to me and told me he had rolled away the stone. I didn't know what, but I knew something was coming and God was reassuring me that I could trust Him and that He had gone before me. Within two weeks of arriving home from Guatemala, I was told that my position at the school was being cut and I was asked to consider going back into the classroom full-time. I knew God was telling me it was time to leave the school.

My husband Chip and I prayed for several weeks for peace and trusting God that His plan was better than ours. As I resigned from the school for the upcoming year, I was still very anxious about what God wanted us to do about the girls and their school. The only way we could afford for them to be at the school was with me working. I knew the Lord was asking me to let go of my need to help our family financially and trust Him to provide for us so looking for another job wasn't on the radar. So finally, I surrendered my will to God and to Chip and we made the decision to move the girls from the only school they've known. It was a heartbreaking season of surrender as I let go of my dreams and instead asked the Lord to fill me with His dreams. We totally took a leap of faith when we enrolled the girls in the local university model home school academy.

Me! Home school! Crazy! But we love it.

Our schedule is so much calmer, I am more involved in their education and I love how much time we actually get to spend together. I love being a stay at home mom and this new journey our family has begun. The Lord has allowed me to build new relationships with ladies in our community, teach ESL to the most precious group of Spanish speaking women and our whole family serves each week loving on the least of these and teaching them about Jesus. We have a whole new life, a better life, a life centered on surrender.


Now having returned from my third trip to Guatemala, I have heard God speak, again. This time it was a challenge to believe. As I saw the new Ravine School facility, God reminded me that He is able. He told me to believe that He is bigger than cinder block buildings with dirt floors and trash dumps with vultures and stenches. He has dreams that He is just waiting for us to trust Him for. I don't know what this year holds or what God has planned but I am ready to move from a season of surrender to a season of believing God and trusting Him as I pray for His dreams to be planted in my heart.


May I step out on faith even when it's a dirt floor I'm stepping on. Thank you Orphan Outreach, my mission trip leaders and team, and the ministries we serve for being a part of my life and my transformation. I am not the same anymore.

Written by Deann Cranford

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